Inoue Kenkabō

Inoue Kenkabō

was the pen-name of a journalist and writer of senryu (short, humorous verse) in late Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Inoue Koichi.

Early life

Kenkabo was born in Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture, as the son of an ex-samurai of the Choshu domain. He was largely self-educated.

After working part time as an elementary school teacher and a reporter for a local newspaper, he moved to Tokyo in 1900 and began writing the arts column for the literary magazine, Myogi. Three years later, he joined the Nihon Shimbun newspaper as a reporter. Using the pen name, "Kenkabō", he began a column called Shindai yanagidaru, which advocated a new style of senryu poetry.

Literary career

In 1905, Kenkabō founded a poetry group called Ryusonji Senryu Kai, which brought out its own short-lived literary magazine called Senryu. After retiring from working as an employee of the Nihon Shimbun newspaper, Kenkabō continued to manage the senryu columns of the Kokumin Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun newspapers and later resurrected Senryu in 1912, renaming it Taishō Senryu, to mark the beginning of the new Taishō period.

With the arrival of the Shōwa period in 1926, he again changed the name of the magazine, this time to Senryujin.

He also wrote the essays, Proletariat Literature and Bourgeois Literature, and Senryu odo ron ("Royal Way of Senryu"), and contributed pieces to the magazines, Nihon oyobi Nihonjin (Japan and the Japanese) and Kaizo ("Reconstruction").

Kenkabō's senryu are characterized by their grandeur and generosity. Kenkabō had disciples all around Japan, including Kawakami Santaro, Murata Shugyo and "Kijiro" (novelist Yoshikawa Eiji's senryu pen name). His works include Shin senryu rokusen ku ("Six Thousand New Senryu"), Senryu o tsukuru hito ni ("For Senryu Poets") and Ko senryu shinzui ("The Essence of Classical Senryu").

See also

External links

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